When a spaceship lands on the moon, it is hailed as a new accomplishment, before it becomes clear that a Victorian party completed the journey in 1899, leading investigators to that mission's last survivor.
Thinking this will prevent war, the US government gives an impenetrable supercomputer total control over launching nuclear missiles. But what the computer does with the power is unimaginable to its creators.
A planet is discovered in the same orbit as Earth's but is located on the exact opposite side of the sun, making it not visible from Earth. The European Space Exploration Council decide to send American astronaut Glenn Ross and British scientist John Kane via spaceship to explore the other planet. After a disastrous crash-landing Ross awakes to learn that Kane lies near death and that they apparently have returned to Earth, as evidenced by the presence of the Council director and his staff. Released to the custody of his wife, he soon learns things are not as they seem. Written by
Doug Sederberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fans of Gerry Anderson's productions will recognise several actors and vehicles from UFO (which was made after Doppelgänger) - as well as sound effects from various Anderson series. Barry Gray's excellent music (mostly unique to this film) adds to the feeling of familiarity. For these reasons alone, I think any Gerry Anderson fan would find Doppelgänger worth getting.
Judged simply as a film, it has to be said that Doppelgänger is flawed. It is known that there were major problems during production, and I suspect this is why there is a time-consuming plot thread that ends abruptly and appears to have no relevance to the rest of the story. Presumably time/budget constraints prevented the relevance from emerging!
Distractingly, the special effects range from outstandingly good - better than any 1960s film that I know of - to disappointingly bad.
Nevertheless, even with these flaws, Doppelgänger's main story is well told and keeps the viewer (or, at least, this viewer) engaged throughout. The ending is perhaps not what one might expect from Anderson, yet at the same time it is typical of Anderson, and it is certainly appropriate. To find out what I mean you'll have to watch it for yourself. :)
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